Nationwide Narcotics Bust Starts in Lansing

What started with a single rock of crack cocaine in Lansing has resulted in several arrests on federal charges, and millions of dollars in seized assets and firearms. For the past 5 years Lansing police have been involved in a narcotics investigation that led them to Detroit, Los Angeles and to a Mexican drug cartel.

After getting 27 convictions and taking down the AHH DEE AHH Detroit drug organization in 2007, the department began Operation: Holiday Express. That resulted in 12 indictments filed in federal court in Grand Rapids this week.

On Wednesday, Lansing police officers took part in the serving of search warrants in Detroit and Los Angeles, resulting in the arrest of 7 of 12 indicted suspects. They also located several firearms and seized 19 bank accounts worth millions of dollars, as well as 24 motor boats.

Through years of investigation, authorities estimate that between 2001 and April of 2006 the crime organization based in Detroit and operating in Lansing distributed over a 1,000 kilograms of cocaine, almost 100 kilograms of heroin, and thousands of pounds of marijuana. The indictments also alleged that AHH DEE AHH was involved in two kidnappings, several shootings, and other violent crimes in the Lansing area.

Lansing officers are very proud of the effort and the result and the officer who led the investigation tells News 10 this sends a message.

"We're gonna track dangerous felons and drug traffickers outside the jurisdiction of Lansing," says Lieutenant Larry Klaus. "If it's coming from Detroit, we're gonna go to Detroit and apprehend those felons so that type of violent crime doesn't come into our community."

LPD could take in eight to $10 million dollars when all the bank accounts, drugs and property are added up from one of the biggest drug busts in department history.

That money must go to drug prevention programs, but Klaus says it could save some cop jobs. He'd like that to happen, especially after how he heard about one of the 14 LPD layoffs Wednesday.

"During the middle of our operation in Los Angeles, our lead investigator, Sergeant (Hung) Tran, a 17-year police veteran, got pink slipped," says Klaus. "Right in the middle of an operation it's a hard pill to swallow."

These cuts could also jeopardize future endeavors like this investigation, according to Klaus.

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  • by Naomi Location: West Michigan on Jan 27, 2010 at 07:36 AM
    This is an excellent piece of news! Congratulations to all of the officers involved, known and unknown. I always find ANY PD layoffs particularly disturbing when we have such need of good police officers. Laying off a lead investigator!? Bad, bad, bad; right up there with closing MSP posts and laying off troopers. Where there is money, greed follows, so there's a need for responsible folks in charge of any money 'reaped' from this creep harvest.
  • by anonymous Location: Llansing on Dec 30, 2009 at 03:38 PM
    It is to my understanding that all efforts for drug rehab. is only 75% effective. It takes at least one year to stop thinking of the addiction. Why not do something about the "private" clubs,who in turn may due good for the city with events,on the other hand behind the scenes these "privately protected clubs",are contributing to a major drug problem right under the noses of the public.America has enough to worry over,law enforcement is doing the best they can,is it still enough?LPD may be doing a great job. the problem is our street gangs,motorcycle clubs and terrorists. We can only pray the streets will be safe someday.
  • by Anonymous Location: Lansing, M.I. on Dec 20, 2009 at 04:20 PM
    I have to agree with Mike in Charlotte. As many of you think great job to our local law enforement , I happen to know of a few officers local and statewide who took their own paycut from the drug ring as well. If you think the task force is here to serve and protect, remember they aren't getting paid what cartels are making to put their life on the line. My brother got pulled over and three occasions and everytime let go with a "Warning" but they seized all the money in his pocket everytime.Totaling up to 5,000 .The money was illegal tender and they knew it . They pocketed it and went home to feed their families hard earned drug money they are fighting so hard to keep off the street. But if they are trying so hard then why didn't they arrest him and lock him up before the big bust? Because they needed the money just like we did. I may be on the other end of the spectacle but this city deserves the truth about it's law enforcement.Like he said drugs are here to stay.
  • by mike Location: charlotte on Dec 6, 2009 at 12:54 PM
    it is funny how they think they have put an end to a major drug ring, drugs are here to stay as long as there is human life, there are many more people ready to take over what the police think they have disrupted, this war on drugs is not only a war against American citizens by it's own elected officials it is a huge waste of tax payer dollars, good job LPD for wasting more money, hope you enjoyed your trip to Los Angeles while you were at it.
  • by Daniel Location: Akron, In. on Dec 4, 2009 at 06:23 AM
    A cops opinion has no place here! What law enforcement does is outside of the constitution of the united states. These are not Americans, they are nothing more then "jack booted thugs" End this illegal drug war and bring back our Bill of Rights. Speak up for your rights as a true American.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2009 at 08:28 PM
    See police are needed to do a good job.The less the police the higher the crime.We don't want that.Jobs need to brought to this state.High crime will keep them away.Thanks to all that got these drugs off the streets.More will be found,as long as we have the police to do it.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 3, 2009 at 03:56 PM
    Great job LPD, Tri-County Narcotics and all the other agencies involved! Thank you for getting the scum off the streets and out of our towns. Those criminals are useless scum and I hope they ALL get life or better yet they take each other out in prison and save us taxpayers more money! Great Great Job and Virg don't even think about letting the Po Po Go!! Not cool if you do! You will lose my vote for the next election and I have been real happy with how you have cleaned up Lansing, don't let us down now! There are other ways to fix the budget!
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